Journalists shouldn’t take their audiences down the path of unnecessary medical tests

As some of you might now, I help out with a project called Health News Review that reviews how the media covers medical news. We review news stories and press releases according to see if the news coverage is accurate and free of sometimes exuberant language. This story from a CBS affiliate in Minneapolis is about a new cardiology-testing clinic that put one reporter though a battery of tests. How much of it was necessary?…

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ORBITA trial and the placebo control

  A hotly debated trial at a recent cardiology conference has many people questioning the value of opening up blocked arteries in patients with stable angina.   While the evidence for acute heart attacks is pretty clear, what to do with these low risk patients is not. Enter the ORBITA trial, a rare placebo controlled trial of a common intervention.   Read the story here: http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/opinion-orbita-angioplasty-trial-provides-food-for-thought *********************************************************************************************************************************   If you’ve been following the news lately,…

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034 – Hypnotherapy and Anti-Vaccination

  A Fantasia-inspired flirt with the dark arts strips Chris of his humanity. Does hypnotherapy work for smoking cessation, getting over phobias, weight loss and pain control? And is it any better than visualization, relaxation, or straight-up counselling? And will we ever find out what Tanya loves to do (no, no we won't). Also: valid (and less valid) criticism of a retracted Canadian paper linking aluminum to autism, and how universities keep falling for pseudoscience…

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A guide to more efficient medical screenings whether you’re 35 or 75

The yearly physical has been ingrained in our minds and yet the evidence behind it is quite shaky. In fact, what you see your doctor for changes as you get older. So here's a guide of what you should be checking whether your 35 or 75. http://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/a-guide-to-more-efficient-medical-screenings-whether-you-re-35-or-75-1.4389140 ************************************************************************ In 1976, the government formed the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination. The task force was given a daunting task: come up with a comprehensive plan…

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Cracked Science 4: 23andMe and Personalized Genetic Testing

  After countless hours of idea generating, explorations, and post-production work, here is the new iteration of the biweekly show I do for the McGill Office for Science and Society: Cracked Science. In the vein of Last Week Tonight, the show tackles important topics (mine having to do with science and pseudoscience) with humour. This episode explores what the average person gets from buying a kit from 23andMe or from a similar, direct-to-consumer genetic testing…

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031 – Sugar Addiction and Tamiflu

  Chris' addiction almost leads to a car crash, so Jonathan decides to stage an intervention. Is sugar addictive? What even is an addiction? Could it be that the popular definition has little to do with the medical one? Talks of cocaine (or Michael Caine), binge-eating disorder, and How I Met Your Mother follow. Also: did somebody take antiviral Tamiflu's medal away? And why were parents sending their child's snot to researchers? What kind of…

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Low Carb Diets Versus Low Fat

  Between fat and sugar, which is the devil and which is the angel(food)? Chris' latest in the Gazette: http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/opinion-low-carb-diets-versus-low-fat...   Transcript:   Many people, especially TV celebrities with diet books to sell, will tell you that sugar is bad for you and the reason why so many people are overweight. They will then go on to tell you that you can lose weight by switching sugar for fat. The promise is that you can lose…

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Vlog 24: Tone Policing

  Refuting the same arguments over and over again can lead people like me to sound aggressive or dismissive sometimes. And that's when the tone police comes out to hand out tickets. What are the implications?   Transcript below: Hey, this is Jonathan from The Body of Evidence. Do you sometimes wish science communicators who tackle controversial topics would just stick to the facts and stop being so judgmental? If you do, you're not alone.…

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